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Here’s How You Can Be Sustainable & Eco-Friendly This Holiday Season

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As concerns over climate change and an eco-conscious outlook begin to gain traction, we’re all looking to find ways to lower our impact on the earth this year. And for many of us that means adjusting our habits during the holiday season to scale back on any excess and be more mindful of our consumption of water, energy, and other limited resources. Choosing to create the most sustainable holiday experience possible is a great way to give back and show our gratitude to a planet and a society that offers up so much each day to help us live long, happy lives.

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Make Mealtime Green

This year, make your holiday mealtime shine with locally-grown and harvested organic meats and produce. Not only will you be helping your community and your environment, but you’ll also be feeding your loved ones quality ingredients. Here are a few holiday food tips to help you feed your family sustainably this holiday season:

  • Shop Organic – Organic growing processes support sustainability and biodiversity without the use of harsh pesticides that can harm the environment and your health.
  • Shop Seasonally – Seasonal foods are produced close to home and require much less preserving, packaging, shipping, and processing before they reach your dining room table.
  • Shop Free-Range and Hormone-Free – Free-range and hormone-free meat and dairy supports ethical raising practices and helps ensure that the animals you are eating were raised with better care and nourishment than those farmed in tight quarters and placed on a regimen of antibiotics and growth hormones.
  • Be Sensitive about the Sea – Seafood can be a touchy subject when it comes to sustainability, and many fishing practices are currently causing great harm to our sensitive oceans. Although it can be difficult to differentiate fish products between those that are caught sustainably and those that are not, do your best to make no mistake by seeking out fisheries that boldly advertise their sustainable practices.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Packaging – Look for food products that are as close to their original form as possible. Not only will you save packaging, but you’ll have a better idea of exactly what is going into your holiday fare. Shop with your own reusable grocery bags, and look for foods packaged using recyclable materials, or those that require no packaging at all.
  • Grow Your Own – There’s nothing more sustainable and satisfying than growing your own food in a home vegetable garden or community plot. Complete the cycle of sustainability by making your own compost from food scraps as well.
  • Get Cooking – Many items that are staples of the traditional holiday feasts such as cranberry sauce, pie crusts, cookies, and gravies can be created by hand right in your own kitchen. Making items yourself not only ensures that you know every ingredient contained in each dish and exactly where it came from, but it also cuts down on packaging materials.

Shop Sustainably

Companies are growing ever more conscious of the way they operate their businesses and package their products. These efforts include everything from water-wise artificial foliage in the office to earth friendly alternative packaging made out of mushrooms. For the gifts you do purchase, look for those with sustainable packaging or those that are made from recycled materials. Choose solar-powered gifts or those that promote activities and spending time in nature, away from the pull of electronics and long hours in front of the television. After all, creating an eco-friendly holiday should be good for the soul as well as the planet. Or even better, shop less by splitting up the gift-giving with a round-robin or “Secret Santa” gift exchange. If you’re feeling resourceful, create your own unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays.

Leave Out The Lights

Holiday lights are a beautiful and exciting addition to the season’s decorative themes, but they are also quite an energy burden, bringing with them a utility bill that is nothing to scoff at. This year, take a break from holiday lighting, or reduce your display and use LED lights instead. For example, ENERGY STAR LED lights can use 75% less energy than traditional holiday lighting. In general, LED lights are known to be incredibly energy efficient, and can use up to 90% less energy than traditional lights. They are also cool to the touch and come with a much lower risk of causing a fire. Along with building smaller holiday lighting displays and switching to LEDs, make sure that all lights are turned off before bed to carry your energy savings through the night.

Wrap Right

The U.S. generates several million tons of waste through the acts of gift wrapping and shopping during the holiday season. This year, get creative with your wrapping. Instead of opting for conventional wrapping paper, try using fabric, newspaper, paper bags, old maps, posters, and old magazines to keep your gift-giving eco-friendly and add a bit of character. When wrapping with traditional wrapping paper, avoid glossy and metallic gift wrap. Instead look for options made out of recyclable materials, as the glossy ones can be difficult to recycle and make into other products. Use yarn instead of tape wherever possible, and save wrapping paper, bows, and bags during the unwrapping process.

There are also many gifts that require no wrapping paper or environmentally impactful production or packaging. Consider giving the gift of your time towards a chore, provide a monetary donation to your friend or loved one’s favorite charity, or donate to a college or vacation fund.

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Spending time with friends and family doesn’t have to revolve around overabundance and unnecessarily high consumption. With a little bit of conscious care and compassion for the world and those around us, we can do our best to create an eco-friendly and sustainable celebration during each festive holiday season.

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Author bio: Miguel Bautista has been the owner of Ranka Lasting Greenery (Max Kaiser) for over 13 years. He is certified with both the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects). Ranka is the next generation of decorative landscaping. This decorating solution is eco-friendly and practical, as it requires no water, no fertilizer, and no pruning. For more eco-friendly design tips, follow his blog.

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The Very Book The Government Does Not Want You To Read Just Went #1 In The World

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Edward Snowden recently released a book titled "Permanent Record." The US government is now suing the publisher of the book for not giving the CIA and the NSA a chance to erase classified details from the book.

  • Reflect On:

    What is the government really protecting? Are they protecting the well being of the citizenry or are they protecting immoral, unethical, political, corporate and elitist interests?

George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” This party seeks power above all, and, through the propagandist Ministry of Truth, presents the people with their version of truth and casts away all other information and opinion. Sound familiar?

This is exactly what’s happening today right in front of our eyes. The “ministry of truth” comes in the form, at least on social media, as FakeNews watchdogs. These are entities that are flagging information that threatens corporate and political interests and labels it as “fake news” when a lot of it, is in fact, the complete opposite. Since when does an authoritative entity like the government have to step in and decide for the people what is real and what is not? Are people not capable of examining sources and determining this for themselves? These fake news watchdogs have some interesting sponsors. One of these sponsors, for example, is NewsGuard. They are funded by Clinton donors and big pharma, with ties to the CFR. You can read more about that entity here.

Companies and government agencies who are threatened by information also seem to be employing an “army of bloggers, surrogates, trolls, and bots on Twitter, Facebook, and by email” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) to try and sway discussion and brainwash people. We here at Collective Evolution have been experiencing them as well.

The world knows why the hunt for Julian Assange was ongoing for so long, it’s because he leaked secrets and exposed those who keep them. He exposed the lies, corruption and deceit that represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)

He exposed immoral and unethical actions that have no basis and justification, he is a hero.

The same thing goes for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents regarding the scope of the US governments surveillance programs, which is and was huge. He is and was not the first, William Binney did the same, along with Thomas Drake and many others.

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Keep in mind that this is a global mass surveillance program. Snowden recently released a book about it, and more.

In the book, Snowden goes into great detail about how he risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance. In it, he reveals the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down.

Mass surveillance, facial recognition, etc, are justified by the national security state for the purposes of combating terrorism, for example. But, what does the connection between terrorist organizations and the US government say about these programs? If the US government itself, or factions of it, are arming these terrorists, creating them, and carrying out false flag events blaming them on terrorism in order to justify infiltration of a country for ulterior motives as well as a heightened the national security state which involves mass surveillance, this means that their justification for these programs is a complete lie. So what’s the real reason for them?

This is well known, a few years ago current democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced the stop arming terrorist act, which would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government. (source)

As far as false flag terrorist attacks go, many believe the chemical gas attacks in Syria were orchestrated by the western military alliance in order to justify the infiltration of the country. The evidence for this is quite grand. 9/11 is another example many people believe was false flag terrorism.

‘Protecting National security’ has now become an umbrella term to justify immoral and unethical actions.

Perhaps Snowden’s book sheds light on that. I have yet to read it.

William Binney is a former high ranking intelligence official with the National Security Agency (NSA). He’s had quite the go, starting in 2002 when he let the public know of a system ( ‘trailblazer’) intended to analyze data carried on communication networks (like the internet). He exposed the agencies eavesdropping program and has faced harassment from the FBI, NSA and more. He has been in and out of the court room ever since he decided to resign and blow the whistle.

Binney hasn’t stopped, one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever come out of the NSA. He is now saying:

“At least 80% of fibre optic cables globally go via the US, this is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores. The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.” (source)

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, the US government suing the publisher of Snowden’s book is only bringing more attention to the truth of mass censorship and that this global elite is losing power. The more the global elite respond the way they are, with this like the mass censorship of information, alternative independent media outlets being shut down, and jailing people like Julian Assange, the more they hurt their own interests… which is inspiring for humanity as we awaken.

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Prozac Maker Paid Millions To Secure Favourable Verdict In Mass Shooting Lawsuit

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It was recently disclosed that Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly paid millions of dollars to the victims of a mass shooter to cover up the connection between the mass shooter and prozac.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are all mass shooters, past and present, always on some similar type of prescription drugs, most notably antidepressants.

Everybody should know by now that pharmaceutical companies are extremely unethical, and that they have a very tight stranglehold over government health regulatory agencies like the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., pharmaceutical companies have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressmen and senators combined. They are even more powerful than big oil and gas, so you can just imagine the power they exercise over politicians and our federal health regulatory agencies. It’s also important to point out the revolving door that exists between big pharma and federal health regulatory agencies. Julie Gerberding, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association ‘Woman of the Year,’ is a prime example of someone who has gone through the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and the corporations they are supposed to be regulating. She was once the Director of the CDC before moving over to an executive position at Merck.

This is no secret, multiple scientists from within these organizations, like the CDC, have even “blown the whistle.”

A group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviours.

There are so many examples of pharmaceutical fraud, it’s truly unbelievable how they are able to operate. One of the latest examples comes from the drugmaker that produces Prozac. This is an antidepressant that Joseph Wesbeker’s victims claimed was responsible for his shooting rampage 30 years ago at Standard Gravure. The maker of the drug quietly paid $20 mllion to help “ensure a verdict exonerating the drug company.”

The company is called Eli Lilly, and they hid the payment for more than two decades, all the while defying a Louisville judge who fought to reveal it because he said it influenced the jury’s verdict.

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Apparently, Wesbecker started to take Prozac about a month before his  killing spree that killed eight and wounded 12 in the print shop attached to the Courier Journal. All but one of the victims sued Eli Lilly.

In exchange for the payment, the plaintiffs – eight estates and 11 survivors – agreed to withhold damaging evidence about the arthritis drug Oraflex that Lilly withdrew from the market. Lilly pleaded guilty to 25 criminal misdemeanor counts for failing to report adverse reactions that patients suffered from the drug, and the drug company feared that the Prozac jury would be more inclined to rule against the drugmaker if it learned of it. The plaintiffs agreed that if the jury found Lilly liable, they would not seek damages, nor would they appeal the verdict if they lost. (source)

Here is another example of fraud I wrote about a few years ago with regards to anti-depressants. Again, it involved pharmaceutical companies that were not disclosing all information regarding the results of their drug trials. Researchers looked at documents from 70 different double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and found that the full extent of serious harm in clinical study reports went unreported. These are the reports sent to major health authorities like the U.S. FDA. Again, you can read more about that here and access the study.

Prozac is still heavily prescribed today, which is concerning. In fact, antidepressants in general are concerning. Millions believe depression is caused by ‘serotonin deficiency,’ but where is the science in support of this theory?

“Rather than some embarrassingly reductionist, one-deficiency-one-illness-one-pill model of mental illness, contemporary exploration of human behavior has demonstrated that we may know less than we ever thought we did.  And that what we do know about root causes of mental illness seems to have more to do with the concept of evolutionary mismatch than with genes and chemical deficiencies.” – Dr. Kelly Kelly Brogan (source)

In fact, a meta-analysis of over 14,000 patients and Dr. Insel, head of the NIMH, had this to say:

“Despite high expectations, neither genomics nor imaging has yet impacted the diagnosis or treatment of the 45 million Americans with serious or moderate mental illness each year.”

To understand what an imbalance is, we must know what balance looks like, and neuroscience has not yet characterized the optimal brain state, nor figured out how to even assess it.

A New England Journal of Medicine review on Major Depression stated:

” … numerous studies of norepinephrine and serotonin metabolites in plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid as well as postmortem studies of the brains of patients with depression, have yet to identify the purported deficiency reliably.”

Read more here: Depression: It’s Not Your Serotonin

In fact, a lot of mass shootings actually have something in common–a lot of these shooters have been prescribed these dangerous drugs. Are we missing something here with regards to this type of ‘medication?’ Why would big pharma go to such lengths to conceal something if they knew it could play a factor in such dangerous and psychopathic behaviour? After all, these drugs are indeed designed to alter the behaviour of individuals.

Here is another article where you can read more about this, specifically with regards to the mass shooting in Florida:

What The World Continues To Ignore About The Recent Mass Shooting In Florida (and all others)

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – (source) Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of theNew England Medical Journal

The Takeaway

Why are drugs used as the solutions to everything? Why don’t doctors learn about nutrition in medical school? Why is nutrition not used to combat issues, and why are drugs seen as completely safe and effective? We rely on our doctors, who in turn rely on the pharmaceutical industry. This is no longer safe, and in this day and age it’s important for us to really put on our critical thinking hats and do our own research before turning to drugs as a solution to problems like depression.

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8 Year-Old Mexican Girl Invents A Solar Water Heater & Wins Nuclear Science Prize

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Photo Credit: Alfredo Alvarez, Imagen Television

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An 8 year old girl named Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz has invented a solar powered water heater out of recycled materials that will bring warm water to those who don't have easy access.

  • Reflect On:

    Don't we have incredible innovation everywhere we turn? Why then does our world not see thrivability everywhere? Is it perhaps held back by systems that don't allow for all to thrive?

Innovation comes from all ages, and this is further seen in the story of Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz, an eight-year-old girl from Chiapas, Mexico who invented an entirely solar-powered device for heating water. The impact her invention could have on others around the world is immense, and this has inspired the UNAM’s (National Autonomous University of Mexico) Institute of Nuclear Sciences to award her.

To those in developed countries, her invention may not seem all that revolutionary as access to warm or hot water is commonplace, but for those in many other areas of the world, including her town in Mexico, this would be a luxury.

Cruz’s device was inspired by the desire to reduce deforestation and pollution by replacing the need to cut logs for heating water, which is the primary method used in her part of the world. Cruz furthers her commitment to environmentally sound practices by utilizing recycled materials to build her device.


The Cruz family has already installed their daughter’s invention on the roof of their home in Mexico. They now enjoy warm water that can be used for anything from cooking to bathing.

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Her solar-powered invention has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions around the world who still rely on wood as the primary source of fuel for heating water.

At CE we have long brought up the idea that our economic system ultimately holds back the ability for humanity to thrive. While many look at capitalism in developed countries as an ideal means to create high-quality products for consumers, the economic models we operate off of are designed at their core to enslave humanity. This can be explored via research into how money comes into our economy to begin with — a debt-based process initiated by central banks that indebts a country which then indebts the banking system which then indebts the business/consumer.

The very design of the system also makes it so that certain countries can easily be held down by others as they cannot easily access modern developments that come from other countries simply because the value of their currency is set by those who control the economy.

Thus, the need for inventions like this serve to temporarily provide help to people who could already be enjoying the luxury of energy technologies suppressed by the economic system and their rulers who choose to put power and control over the thrivability of humanity.

While we are here, let’s also consider the reality of new energy technologies that go well beyond wind, solar and fossil fuels. We did an interview series with Susan Manewich, another incredible voice in the space of emerging energy technologies to not only discuss the purposeful suppression of new energy technologies, but also a less talked about form of ‘suppression’ that is placed on the emergence of these technologies.

Below is a teaser to the Hidden Energy Technology interview we did with her, and you can sign up for a free 7 day trial to CETV to watch it.

The Takeaway

There is never a shortage of innovation, ideas, and problem solving within our society. But there is often a shortage of movement allowed in the rigid systems we have created that stop technology and basic needs from being brought to all.

When you consider the basic truth that millions don’t have access to clean water and food each day, when at the same time, others just a few hours away by flight live in completely developed countries where gluttony is commonplace, you begin to realize that this is being done by design, not by accident.

Do we still wish to put all of our faith and participation in systems that seek to enslave others vs. allow them to thrive? A deep question for such a simple story, but still a necessary one.

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